Monday, July 6, 2015

Sen. Sanders Draws 9,000 To Campaign Stop In Portland, Maine

Addressing yet another record crowd -- this one at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland, Maine, with an estimated 8,000 people attending -- Sen. Bernie Sanders suggested why he draws record audiences at every campaign stop.
"The answer, I think, is pretty obvious," Sanders told his overflow audience. "From Maine to California ... the American people understand that establishment politics and establishment economics are not working for the middle class."
In recent weeks, Sanders has drawn 13,000 people to Madison, Wis.; more than 5,000 to Denver, and about 3,000 to Minneapolis. On Friday, he also attracted more than 2,500 people to Council Bluffs, Iowa -- record turnout so far for the 2016 cycle in the nation's first presidential caucus state. A portion of the Council Bluffs audience came from just across the river in Omaha, Neb. (UPDATE: Late report is Cross Insurance Arena was filled to capacity. Seating areas they had not planned to use had to be opened to accommodate all who filed into to venue. The arena seats up to 9,500 for concerts, which is the configuration finally used.)

In an hour-long address that was streamed live on YouTube, he promised his audience that he would bring about "real change" if elected president. That includes raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, making college tuition-free and guaranteeing workers family leave, vacation time and paid sick time. And it would mean higher taxes for corporations and the wealthy.

Boston Herald reports on some of the people attending the event:
“I like what he’s saying,” said Kathleen Meade of Freeport, who showed up three and a half hours early for the Sanders rally tonight at Cross Insurance Arena. “He has a pulse on what a lot of people are thinking and saying, and everybody else has been avoiding.”

Supporters held handmade signs, wore "Bernie" T-shirts and cheered whenever the campaign’s blue school bus drove by. The line of hundreds stretched down the street and around the corner, even as others poured into the arena.

Many in line said they think Sanders’ momentum will only grow and truly believe the Vermont senator can win the White House.

Others are looking for a Clinton alternative.

“She’s such a political insider,” said Deborah Cappello of Portland. “I’d love to vote for the first woman president, but she’s not speaking to the issues the way Bernie Sanders is.”

“If the election comes down to a Bush and a Clinton, there’s something wrong with that,” said Richard Waite of Pittsfield, Maine.
10 Reasons Bernie Sanders Is ‘Rockin’

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